Will riots be scheduled for tonight in Baltimore?
For anyone out of the loop, the death of Freddie Gray has been one of the latest causes taken up by BlackLivesMatter and similar organizations. While being transported in a police van following an arrest in April of last year, Gray fell into a coma, and eventually died resulting from damage to his spinal cord. It was speculated that he had been subject to a “rough ride” by the officers.
The case also somehow became a racial justice issue despite the fact that three of the six officers involved were black. Riots broke out quickly, and the month of May managed to set the record for the most homicides in a single month in 40 years.
But was it all for naught?
Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson Jr was found not guilty on Thursday of all criminal charges including second-degree depraved heart murder in the case of black detainee Freddie Gray.
Goodson had also faced three counts of manslaughter, and single counts of reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Goodson, who is also black, faced the most serious charges among the six officers charged in Gray’s death, making his the marquee case for prosecutors. They failed to secure a conviction in two earlier trials of officers.
“This court is satisfied the state has failed to show” evidence of the crimes, Williams said. Prosecutors contended Goodson gave Gray a “rough ride,” failed to ensure his safety and should have called a medic.
“That is an inflammatory term … that when uttered is not to be taken lightly,” said Williams. Goodson’s defense team argued that Gray caused his own injuries by falling inside the transport van. Goodson also lacked the training to recognize that Gray was hurt, they said.
Gray, 25, was arrested after fleeing police officers in a high-crime area. He was bundled into Goodson’s van shackled and not secured with a seat belt inside the van, a violation of police procedure.
You really can’t win with the people who will inevitably try burning their city to the ground as an “appropriate” response to this verdict. If the officer was charged, it would be proof of police brutality. If the officer wasn’t charged, it’s proof that the system is rigged to protect police.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]